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Critical Analysis on Mr Bleaney by Larkin

Uploaded by xsparklyvix on Sep 06, 2005

Discuss the distinctive qualities and effects of the poem ‘Mr Bleaney’.

The poem appears to express the thoughts of Larkin as he views the rented room of ‘Mr Bleaney’. In exposing the lonely, monotonous life of this figure, Larkin is unable to criticize as he sees a reflection of his own life.

The poem addresses the key themes of loneliness and the shallowness of human life from the outset. The name ‘Mr Bleaney as the title evokes the emotion of insipidness as the word conjugation is very monotonous with no strong syllables. Similar to the nature of the room Larkin describes, the name has little stimulation. This monotony is reinforced in the concept of him renting a ‘room’ as this has little status in comparison of being an ‘owner’. The theme of the shallowness of existence is present from the clinical nature in which the landlord refers to his death as ‘they moved him’. The use of indifferent language to refer to his death shows the little care for the ending of his life. The lack of pride Mr Bleaney felt for the room is shown in the deficiency of home comforts. The ‘upright chair’ and ‘no hook behind the door’ symbolises the pragmatic nature of Mr Bleaney’s life, he didn’t make an impression on the room. The use of ‘sixty watt’ bulb reinforces the idea of an eerie glow, evocative of the theme of loneliness. The description of the flowered curtains as ‘thin and frayed’ coupled with the ‘fusty bed’ evokes the idea of decay and the inconsequentiality of his existence. The use of ‘one hired box’ to describe the room evokes the image of a coffin. Fused with the reference to ‘they moved him’ Larkin shows Mr Bleaney’s life to be one of inconsequence as others affect him, he does not make things happen he allows others to make decisions for him.

From the outset of the poem, Larkin provides a description of the life of Mr Bleaney as one of worthlessness and criticises his lack of statements in the room. This is particularly noticeable in the use of derogatory language; ‘tussocky, ‘littered’ and ‘upright’. However, from the mid point of the third stanza this gives way to one of melancholy. In studying the life of Mr Bleaney he has found a resemblance to his own life. The reference to ‘so it happens that I lie where Mr...

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Uploaded by:   xsparklyvix

Date:   09/06/2005

Category:   Poetry

Length:   5 pages (1,050 words)

Views:   22334

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